Are we a bit weird?

During my work as an adviser to owner managed businesses, I’ve noticed how often business owners want to benchmark themselves against other organisations. It’s not necessarily a detailed enquiry, but I’ve come to expect some variation of the following question:

“Are we the only ones who have this issue?” or more bluntly, “Are we a bit weird?”

Obviously confidentiality precludes me from giving full answers, but I always comment that many of the issues our clients face are generic to being in business. In this context, no one is ever as weird as they might fear.

Business owners can get frustrated by issues that obstruct the work they want to do; especially if the obstacles seem relatively “minor” in the grand scheme of things. I’m sure every business owner has, at some point, had to drag themselves away from profitable work in order to resolve a problem with something like a canteen fridge, a rota or else intervene between two fractious colleagues.  

The brutal truth is that almost every business has individuals who don’t always get on. Every business has challenges around cashflow or funding at some point in their existence.

The detail might differ, but in my experience almost every challenge in business boils down to people or flows of money.

The advisory work we do helps leaders find different ways to resolve the challenges that arise from these common issues. The context and detail of each organisation are important, but I imagine that the generic causes haven’t changed significantly in the 150 years since Armstrong Watson started supporting clients. (Just to be clear, I don’t have first hand experience of this, but I’m pretty sure I’m not wrong).

In order to reassure our clients that they’re not weird, Armstrong Watson organise events and publications that allow business leaders to learn how other business leaders think.

Our family business survey is the biggest of its kind looking at Family businesses in the UK. Our events bring business owners together to share experience and learn from their peers.

Across our 16 offices, we have a team of nearly 400 specialists, who have seen lots of variations of the “people” and “flow-of-money” challenges. This network strength helps our clients make better-informed decisions.

These events, surveys and network strength are designed to demonstrate that having challenges around people and flow-of-money doesn’t make you weird, it makes you normal.

Which leaves the question, “What does make someone weird?” That’s a much harder question. The best answer I can come up with is anyone who expects England to win the Football World Cup!?

If you’d like to learn more about our survey, our events or how we can help you overcome your managerial challenges, please contact your local Armstrong Watson office, or email me.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you overcome your managerial challenges, contact Nick today.

Email Nick

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